Canada Geese (Branta Canadensis) are a highly social species who are abundant throughout urban and suburban regions of the United States. Many people are thrilled by their fascinating social interactions and ardent devotion between parents and goslings. Particularly because of their presence in urban environments, many feel that interacting with geese helps them to reconnect with the amazing diversity of a life in a rapidly vanishing world of nature.
Yet Canada geese are currently under a massive attack by the US Department of Agriculture’s program of roundup and gassing geese, which has killed tens of thousands of geese and threatens to kill many thousands more. Geese have been vilified and unfairly blamed for causing a range of problems from water fouling due to droppings and posing a danger to air plane travel.
Any conflicts between humans and geese problems arising from geese can be handled peacefully and without causing harm. We demand an end to the USDA’s annihilation program and demand a harmonious co-existence between humans and Canada geese.
Canada geese include a range of sub-species native to North America, all of whom suffered near extinction in the early 20th century. Hunting and habitat loss were the main causes of their decline and eventually led to the enactment of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The Act substantially regulated hunting of Canada geese and sought to preserve critical habitat.
With federal protections in place, Canada geese were afforded the opportunity to recover, making geese an appealing target to hunters. To cater to hunting interests, many state-run wildlife agencies actively bred and released resident Canada geese to increase the stock of available birds to kill. Experts believe that overly plentiful resident flocks of Canada geese today are attributed to the stocking efforts by these agencies in the past.
Resident Canada geese find ideal habitats in which to thrive in urban and suburban environments. City parks, recreational areas, and golf courses offer large expanses of grass for foraging and ponds for swimming. The absence of natural predators in these human-made environments also contributes to the success of resident populations. Canada geese are classified as migratory and resident (non-migratory) species. Those classified as migratory nest exclusively in Canada and winter in the United States, while resident Canada geese nest and reside in the United States.